Thursday, February 7, 2008

Storing and Preserving Coins

I am not a coin collector. I do buy coins occasionally, if I am at an auction, and feel that the bidding price is low. I have a wooden box on my closet shelf and the coins are tossed in there. Since I am writing about preserving collectible, some research would be necessary.
One of my good friends collects coins. I arranged to have dinner with him and glean his expertise. This was his advice:
Clean the coins, first with a small amount of mild detergent and distilled water. Holding the coin around the edges, dip the coin until all residue is removed. Do not use an abrasive cloth or brush. Rinse the coin with distilled water, removing all detergent. Let it stand dry on a soft cotton cloth. After the coin is dry, mix an equal part of alcohol and acetone and re-rinse the coin in this solution. After complete drying, the coin is now ready to place into a flip, a polyester coin pocket.
When my friend ask me about my coins and how they were stored, He rolled his eyes and I had to buy dinner!!! My project this afternoon is to preserve my coins. Who knows? One might help pay for my grandson's college.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

How to Perserve Magazines

I just bought a very large box of vintage magazines, all the 1930's and early 40's at an estate sale. Before I even purchased them, I checked for mildew or mold, and mice damage. They do love paper for their nests! The magazines were in pretty good condition, even though they were just thrown in a box. Some of the covers were gone or torn, but the pages did not have a odor.
What is the best way for my buyers to preserve a magazine that they have purchased from me? They must be kept out of the basement, garage, or barn and away from moisture. They do have to be kept dry. An attic is not great either, it may be too dry a climate, and the pages will brittle. Sunlight will fade and yellow the pages too. If you have to show off your prize collections, wear white cotton gloves, and handle like a baby. They must be stored in a dry closet or drawer and with pest traps. No mice allowed.
If you have a large collection, stacking very tightly together will keep oxygen from seeping into the pages. This is also a fire retardant as tightly packed paper will burn very slowly.
Perserving one magazine would be best in a polyester, transparent sleeve. Make sure your pages are free from dirt, tape, paper clips, or anything to would leave marks. Store in a high grade storage box. Check you magazines from time to time for bugs!! Spiders are a sign that bugs are around, and look for dead bug carcasses.
If you come across any "Seventeen" magazines from the 1950's, get them!! They are hot right now!!!!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Removing Black Tarnish From Silverplate

I just picked a Barton silverplate pitcher up for pennies. It was black with tarnish. I had just sold silverplate flatware that was also beyond black. Both were profitable for me. I do not recommend this cleaning system, unless the pieces are hopeless and you are not afraid to toss them. Some tarnish hides flaws too.
Line a shallow pan with alulimun foil. Place the silverplate on the foil and cover with a warm, salt water mixture. Let it stand over night in this mixture. There will be a odor from the oxidation, so you might want to put in the garage. Then start cleaning with a silver paste. You will be amazed at how easily the tarnish is removed. Have a few stubborn pieces, resoak them. Once again, i do not recommend for Grandma's prized pieces, unless there is no other alternative. In a pinch and do not have polishing paste, I have used toothpaste to shine some silverplate in a hurry.
A special cleaning solution can be made to clean without damage. Mix equal parts of acetone, and alcohol. Using a soft cloth or brush clean all parts of your silver. Make sure that you dry it with a soft cloth. This will leave your silver with some protection too.

Silverplate I Love It Black!!!

Silverplate is a big money maker for me. The blacker the tarnish, the better. It is overlooked at auctions and the final bid price is reasonable. With a small amount of work, i can restore it for resale and a profit.
Tarnish is eating away silver and has a corrosion effect. It is caused by reactions to chemicals, oxygen, oils, food, and chlorine. Never put silverplate in the dishwasher, it will remove the finish, and cause scratching. Never wrap it in plastic wrap, this will increase the tarnish process, and i will be picking it up for a song at my next auction!!! The worst thing that can happen to your silver is to use a silver cleaning dip. It will remove the shine and finish and leave you with a dull and lifeless piece.
A good cleaning once in awhile with a soft, flannel cloth and a silver cleaning paste should keep your silver in nice condition. I use an old toothbrush ( never throw them away) to clean the crevices in the designs. Storing in a lined silver chest is best for flatware. Spoons are always more delicate. The bottoms can be damaged by placing constantly on a hard surface, and serving spoons do not alway react well to the soup. Once the finish is gone, replating is the answer.